Lesley Chase fought her way free from an abusive marriage, thanks to Coventina Circle. After her ex-husband’s murder, she took a sabbatical to study yoga, meditation, and dreamwalking in Costa Rica. A passionate affair with Sam Pierce helped her self-confidence and healing, but she insisted they break all contact when she returned to New York. She’s stunned when she runs into Sam, who has an office in the same building as her therapist. He convinces her it’s just a weird coincidence, and he won’t try to rekindle their passion. But when Lesley’s dreamwalking crosses into dangerous territory, and her ex-husband starts stalking her from beyond the grave, Sam is determined to set her free, once and for all. Of course, Sam has a few dark secrets of his own, on both sides of the veil . . .
Lesley is mentioned in the first book in the series, Playing the Angles, although she does not physically appear. Originally, when the earlier version of PTA was going to be a stand-alone, I regretted not being able to explore Lesley’s story further. Once the decision was made that there would be a series, each featuring a different member of the Circle as the primary protagonists, it gave me a chance to work on her story in relation to the other members of the circle (in The Spirit Repository and in Relics & Requiem). She appears in Relics, when Phineas dreamwalks to solve a murder.
In Grave Reach, Lesley comes into her own. She is rebuilding her life, back in New York City after a five-month sabbatical in Costa Rica. She had a passionate affair there, with Sam, but they agreed to let go when they left and not be in touch. She misses him, but she needs to rebuild on her own. When she runs into him again by accident, and then their paths keep crossing as the pagan community in New York is threatened in their dreams, they need to work together to solve the crisis. Lesley realizes how little she knew about Sam before their affair, and some of his actions make her wonder what else he’s hiding.
The series is paranormal romantic suspense, so most of the fun is taking the journey with Lesley and Sam to see how they overcome their obstacles together, even when they disagree, and when others try to get in between them.
The Delacourtes are back, too — don’t worry, eventually they will be the center of their own stories. I’m happily surprised with how popular the Delacourte clan is with readers.
Here’s an excerpt from Grave Reach:
She felt beautiful with Sam. Smart, desirable, funny. She embodied the fantasy of the best self she’d always wanted to be.
Had she been a fool to cut off contact?
No. Nothing could sustain the fantasy once she returned to real life. It was better this way.
This way, returning to New York was a complete fresh start.
She walked up the graceful stone steps to the grayish-blue stone building on 18th Street and buzzed Dr. Granger’s unit. She got the unlocking buzz, and pushed the door open.
This had once been a mansion, housing one family. The graceful marble staircase still led to the second floor, and a chandelier lit the hall. Dr. Granger’s office was in the back of the ground floor, where it was quieter.
She didn’t check her reflection in the hall mirror, but she turned, trying not to flinch, as a man used a key to open the front door. The frosted glass, covered on both sides with wrought iron, hid his features.
Used a key. Nothing to be afraid of, she reassured herself.
She turned to the back of the building, wondering what she should talk about in today’s session. Dr. Granger also wanted her to participate in a group session as part of her recovery. Lesley preferred Coventina Circle as her group.
She hesitated. The person who’d entered was male, which made her wary. She was back in New York, after all. But the energy felt familiar. Comforting.
She hesitated again, just past the bottom of the staircase, near the mirror. She glanced at her reflection, and saw her own worried face stare back.
The man who’d entered had his head down, looking through his mail, as he started up the stairs to the second floor.
She’d know the tread of those footsteps anywhere.
It couldn’t be.
He promised her.
“Sam?” she croaked.
He was part of the way up the stairs. He lifted his head, looking first up for the voice, then glanced over the rail to meet her eyes. He paled, and his own hazel eyes widened in shock. “Lesley?”
“You lied to me!” Lesley burst out. “How could you lie to me like that?”
“Lesley, I had no idea, I didn’t, I–”
“You can’t tell me this is a coincidence!” She fled down the hall into Natalie Granger’s waiting area, where she burst into tears.
Want more? It releases on December 5, 2019 on multiple digital channels for $3.99. Visit the Grave Reach</em> page on the Coventina Circle website for buy links, or use the book’s universal buy link.. More options will be added as the book goes live on additional channels.